Okay, who’s old enough to remember seeing this gag on the Jack Benny Show?

Cidu Bill on Jan 31st 2013


Filed in Beverly Hills, Bill Bickel, Dave Blazek, Jack Benny, Loose Parts, comic strips, comics, humor | 35 responses so far

35 Responses to “Okay, who’s old enough to remember seeing this gag on the Jack Benny Show?”

  1. J-L Jan 31st 2013 at 05:18 pm 1

    Benny who?

    (Sorry, I just wanted to flaunt my fleeting youth.)

  2. Ian Osmond Jan 31st 2013 at 05:24 pm 2

    I once watched a documentary on Jack Benny which noted that he was born February 14, 1894, and died December 26, 1974, at the age of 39.

  3. Molly J Jan 31st 2013 at 05:25 pm 3

    We once ran out of windshield wiper fluid and in desperation poured the bottle of Evian we had in the car into the wiper fluid tank. We felt so bourgeois.

  4. Cidu Bill Jan 31st 2013 at 05:50 pm 4

    I bought my brother a complete boxed set of Jack Benny radio programs for his 39th birthday. I’d actually had the idea about ten years earlier, and prayed I wouldn’t forget when the time came.

  5. Kamino Neko Jan 31st 2013 at 06:12 pm 5

    That’s brilliant, Bill.

  6. Jeff S. Jan 31st 2013 at 06:37 pm 6

    Bill, seems like you could have bought the set on any of Jack Benny’s birthdays since he always turned 39.


  7. Cidu Bill Jan 31st 2013 at 07:10 pm 7

    True, Jeff, but it only would have made sense on MY BROTHER’S 39TH birthday.

  8. Pinny Jan 31st 2013 at 07:19 pm 8

    Re: Ian Osmond (#2)

    The original Trivial Pursuit game (Genus One edition, now) had a question, something like:

    Q: “Who was born in 1894 and died 80 years late at the age of 39?”
    A: Jack Benny

    (I used to like Trivial Pursuit VERY much. Can’t you tell? I still do but no one wants to play me.)

  9. Mark in Boston Jan 31st 2013 at 10:18 pm 9

    I saw Jack Benny on an old episode of Groucho Marx’s show You Bet Your Life. He was in disguise, pretending not to be Jack Benny (not fooling Groucho or anyone of course).

    He answered all of the questions correctly until the last one, which just happened to be:

    “What is Jack Benny’s REAL age?”

  10. Mark in Boston Jan 31st 2013 at 10:22 pm 10

    Here’s trivia:

    Who was born in 1792 and died in 1868, 8 months after his 18th birthday?

  11. CaroZ Jan 31st 2013 at 10:46 pm 11

    Beverly Hills has clearly fallen on hard times if the fire department can’t afford champagne for their hoses anymore.

    (Mark in Boston: I got the answer by googling “born february 29 1792″)

  12. AMC Jan 31st 2013 at 10:48 pm 12

    Gioachino Rossini.

  13. minorannoyance Jan 31st 2013 at 11:52 pm 13

    I recall a TV episode where Benny and Rochester went to the Beverly Hills police station to report Benny’s car — the fabled, sputtering Maxwell — had been stolen. Said station looked rather like the front hall of the Beverly Hillbillies mansion.

    Best joke actually came early in the show, when Rochester phoned Benny to report the car had been stolen three hours earlier. Benny asks what Rochester was doing for those three hours. “Laughing.”

  14. minorannoyance Jan 31st 2013 at 11:57 pm 14

    Bonus points: The Maxwell’s sputtering engine was another voice by Mel Blanc, a frequent onscreen foil for Benny (”Si.”)

  15. Cidu Bill Jan 31st 2013 at 11:59 pm 15

    Obviously, minorannoyance, that was the episode I meant.

    I knew I wasn’t the only geezer here who remembered it

  16. furrykef Feb 1st 2013 at 12:43 am 16

    I’m 28 and I like Jack Benny. Shame I haven’t seen much of his material…

  17. Cidu Bill Feb 1st 2013 at 12:47 am 17

    Try to see one of the Burns and Allen episodes in which he guest-starred: they were great friends in real life, and they worked very well together.

    Also, Benny was the only person I’d ever seen almost make Gracie crack up.

  18. Ian Osmond Feb 1st 2013 at 07:33 am 18

    Mark in Boston: the best part of that was that it was that it was, “For TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS — what is Jack Benny’s real age?” So you were stuck with Benny’s miserliness against his vanity, and you could just HEAR the gears seizing. It was a BRILLIANT bit. And, just to clarify, it was on Jack Benny’s show, with Groucho as the guest, not on the actual game show itself.

  19. Keera Feb 1st 2013 at 10:10 am 19

    Man, do I feel like a little kid right now! I have NO idea what you all are talking about. Jack Benny is somebody I’ve only heard of, never seen. (Youth and foreign living will do that to a person.)

  20. Chakolate Feb 1st 2013 at 11:25 am 20

    When I was a kid I thought Jack Benny was stupid. Turns out I was the one who was stupid.

    Hey, Pinny - I’ll play Trivial Pursuit with you. Are you anywhere near Chicago?

  21. Elyrest Feb 1st 2013 at 11:57 am 21

    Keera - If you have any appreciation at all for early B&W television look for some DVDs of The Jack Benny Show and The Burns & Allen Show. Benny along with George Burns and Gracie Allen (one of the funniest people caught on film) were finely tuned comedy machines. They all came of age in the days of Vaudeville and seemed to live and breath their acts. They also had long running radio programs so these people were in people’s hearts and homes for decades. My Grammy never got older than 39 because of Jack Benny, and my younger sister’s doing the same thing in their honor.

  22. Cidu Bill Feb 1st 2013 at 01:33 pm 22

    Count me in too, Chak: nobody will play Trivial Pursuit with me either.

    You know, I really think CIDU could field an Olympic-level Trivial Pursuit team.

  23. Paperboy Feb 1st 2013 at 01:34 pm 23

    “…I’m THINKING!”

  24. padraig Feb 1st 2013 at 03:41 pm 24

    I don’t remember the Jack Benny, but in Minnesota the equivalent was the water tower for the toney suburb of Edina being converted to a Perrier tank. I believe the cartoonist was named Guindon, but I stumped Google with that one.

  25. Mark in Boston Feb 1st 2013 at 04:34 pm 25

    The problem with Jack Benny is that although he made a few movies, you just never see them. Crosby and Hope’s “Road” movies turn up, and everybody has seen the Marx Brothers and Laurel & Hardy, but if you weren’t watching television before 1970, you probably have never seen Jack Benny.

  26. Mark in Boston Feb 1st 2013 at 04:38 pm 26

    OK, since you all got the Rossini leap-year trivia question, here’s the next one:

    Going by the clues in the dialogue and lyrics, in what year does the action of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” take place?

  27. Mary in Ohio Feb 1st 2013 at 04:56 pm 27

    I remeber Jack Benny (on TV) but not this particular joke.

    Nobody will play ME in Trivial Pursuit any more either.

  28. Chakolate Feb 1st 2013 at 05:46 pm 28

    Mark in Boston @ 25,

    I don’t know about that- my local PBS station ran lots of Benny shows, and when they stopped, a local independent station started. With the ever-hungry maw of 24/7 television to fill, I’ll bet most people could find some Benny on their local stations.

  29. James Pollock Feb 1st 2013 at 08:51 pm 29

    The shows are currently available on over-the-air broadcast… check local listings.

    People stopped playing me when I started asking “do you want the right answer or the answer on the card?” for the cases where the research team flubbed the answer. I think bar trivia largely consumed the Trivial Pursuit audience, and I don’t drink.

  30. Usual John Feb 2nd 2013 at 12:43 am 30

    Mark in Boston (#26): 1873. Specifically, in early March.

    Bear in mind that 1900 was not a leap year.

  31. Keera Feb 2nd 2013 at 02:52 am 31

    Thanks, Elyrest @21. I’m hoping that all these new streaming technologies will give me a chance to see the old greats. I grew up watching a lot of B&W movies from the golden era of Hollywood thanks to my grandparents. George Burns lived long enough for me to become a fan. I’m looking forward to making a new acquaintance with Jack Benny. :-)

  32. Powers Feb 2nd 2013 at 08:06 am 32

    I don’t understand you people. I wouldn’t want to play Trivial Pursuit with anyone who would be willing to play against me. =)

  33. Lost in A**2 Feb 2nd 2013 at 07:59 pm 33

    James, I did that a few times when the game first came out. Haven’t played it since. I have heard that one of the creators was challenged on an incorrect answer; he is said to have replied, “It’s a game.”

  34. Meryl A Feb 7th 2013 at 01:39 am 34

    We’ve been watching the reruns on Antenna TV and they have started over at least a 3rd time and neither of us remembers seeing a joke like this on it.

  35. Cidu Bill Feb 7th 2013 at 02:05 am 35

    They might not have the rights to all the episodes, Meryl: minorannoyance (#13) has confirmed that I am not in fact delusional (about this episode, anyway)

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